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Cleaning pots 'n' pans


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I was just flipping through the suggestions for cleaning a new Calphalon pan and I was struck by the stupidness of much of the advice. It then occurred to me that the cleaning instructions that come with most pots 'n' pans are ridiculous.

I use one of two tools to clean all my stuff: 1) The dishwasher, and 2) a stainless scrubbing pad like this one:

ACS434PB_b.jpg

I think you'll find this to be the case in any restaurant kitchen as well. No Dobies, Scotch-Brites, or any of that stuff on my pot-washing station. If a pot can't handle one of the above cleaning methods, don't buy it.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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FG - I noticed that a 10-inch non-stick Calphalon pan is for sale on Amazon for $29.99 (no shipping or tax). Is this the same pan you recommended last December? It's listed as "10 inch Professional Nonstick II Omelet."

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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NO!!!!

The Professional Nonstick II surface, while a decent non-stick surface, sucks compared to the Commercial Nonstick surface, which is what I've been raving about. As I mentioned on the other thread, you have to be very careful in reading the product descriptions from Calphalon because all the lines sound so similar. The only thing I prefer about Professional Nonstick II is the flat, broad, all-metal, stay-cool handle design, and I have no idea why Calphalon, All-Clad, and other premium home brands have now all gone the way of those v-shaped, tippy, unergonomic handles. No professional cookware has handles like that. But I digress, and this is the wrong thread for this discussion.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Obviously you have no worries cleaning your Calphalon pan with that stainless steel pad, Fat Bloke. I had worried about scratching it. I do trust you on this stuff, though, so I'll give it a try.

My Beloved once stuck it in the dishwasher, and it came out looking a bit grey and unhappy. I thumped her with the pan a few times, so I don't think she'll do it again. :wink:

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Wilfrid: Do not use a stainless steel scrubber on nonstick pans! Use the dishwasher. I'm saying I use one or the other on all my cookware. Just as I don't put cast-iron in the dishwasher I don't use the stainless scrubber on the nonstick. If your dishwasher is graying your Calphalon, though, you're probably using a detergent with chlorine in it.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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BTW, I confess that I do have a Scotch-Brite sitting near the sink. I use it for china that shouldn't go in the dishwasher (some of my stuff is 100+ years old) and also for my non-stick stuff when it's not particularly dirty. But if it's going to take more than 30 seconds to do a proper cleaning job it goes right in the dishwasher.

Other than a couple of copper items, I don't have any cookware that's expensive enough to warrant delicate handling, and like I said I just don't think it's smart to buy cookware that does. I have enough things to waste my time with; I don't need to add ineffectual scrubbing to my list.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I guess I'm missing something by not having Calphalon or All-Clad! All my pots are stainless-lined heavy gauge copper — yes with iron handles — and the most I usually need to clean them, in addition to hot water, is a nylon or natural bristle brush. The scotch-brite is only very rarely used.

Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

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FYI: The stainless steel thingie is commonly refered to as a "Kurly Kate".

disclaimer: I recuse myself from discussions about all-clad. I have shilled for them in return for recompense.

aside, sotto voce': The best non-stick I've ever used!

Nick :biggrin:

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Interesting. My Mauviel 2.5mm 10-1/4" copper fry pan is the single most difficult-to-clean piece of cookware I own. Stainless in general is the stickiest surface, so if I do high-temperature sauteing I usually get some pretty stubborn crud that would require a lot of scrubbing were it not for my "KK" -- even the dishwasher doesn't get that stuff off. And then there's the outside, which requires too much maintenance for my tastes. I do pretty much all my skillet cooking either in cast-iron, carbon steel, or non-stick -- the first two because they're relatively non-stick when properly seasoned yet they caramelize surfaces better than stainless, and the last because it's ideal for eggs and such. I only use stainless for stockpots and saucepans and I clean them in the dishwasher.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Interesting. My Mauviel 2.5mm 10-1/4" copper fry pan is the single most difficult-to-clean piece of cookware I own. Stainless in general is the stickiest surface, so if I do high-temperature sauteing I usually get some pretty stubborn crud that would require a lot of scrubbing were it not for my "KK" -- even the dishwasher doesn't get that stuff off.

The critical word in my post was pots. Mine are Mauviel and they're not a problem. I do have some of the sauté pans — which is what I assume you are referring to — and when I use one, if anything sticks to the surface I just put the pan back on a hot burner and deglaze it with some tap water. The burned-on crud comes right off.

And then there's the outside, which requires too much maintenance for my tastes.

Why bother with the outside. They cook the same way whether there's a little copper oxide or a bunch. It's still just a couple of molecules thick and doesn't effect the heat transfer.

Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

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Two products I can't live without:

Those 2+inch thin plastic squares that have a different arc at each corner, costing about .89 at kitchen stores. They fit into the corner of every pan or pot, the straight edges scrape the bottoms clean, plus great on cheesy residue on china. With these thingies, you don't even have to soak stuck on gook.

And "Barkeepers Friend", a Comet or Ajax type product, that instantly restores shine to stainless, copper, porcelain. My All-Clad looks like it just came out of the carton, and my white sink is spotless. (Also fabulous on bathtubs and showers.) Not harmful to sterling. Caution: do not use on copper unless you want a bright finish. i.e., great for the bowls you use for whipping egg whites or polenta pots, but VERY bad for anything with a patina finish.

eGullet member #80.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Two products I can't live without: 

Those 2+inch thin plastic squares that have a different arc at each corner, costing about .89 at kitchen stores.  They fit into the corner of every pan or pot, the straight edges scrape the bottoms clean, plus great on cheesy residue on china.  With these thingies, you don't even have to soak stuck on gook.

And "Barkeepers Friend", a Comet or Ajax type product, that instantly restores shine to stainless, copper, porcelain.  My All-Clad looks like it just came out of the carton, and my white sink is spotless.  (Also fabulous on bathtubs and showers.)  Not harmful to sterling.  Caution: do not use on copper unless you want a bright finish.  i.e., great for the bowls you use for whipping egg whites or polenta pots, but VERY bad for anything with a patina finish.

Actually, Barkeeper's Friend isn't the same as Comet -- somehow the composition is different. It is definitely commendable for cleaning All-Clad, but for those with Calphalon anodized pots and pans, a dash of comet and a good scrubbing will get those dishwasher white stains off the nice black pots.

Worth it for the aesthetic benefit alone ;)

-s

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I agree that those scrubbers are the best. In fact, they're one reason I don't ever buy non-stick pans: you can't use that scrubber on them. Also, I almost never feel the need for a nonstick.

At risk of sounding out-of-it (and going off-topic, but it's related), I'm a big fan of Revere Ware. Because:

o It's stainless, which I find incredibly easy to clean using those scrubbers (plus metal cleaner if you care how it looks).

o It's available in aluminum disk models (when you want the evenest heat, but with slower response time) and copper clad (when you're willing to sacrifice some even heat dispersion for fast heat and cool).

o When I researched it about 15 years ago, Consumer Reports gave both versions top marks over the expensive brands for even heat distribution. My experience bears that out.

o It has those nice black plastic handles that feel good in the hand, and heat and potholders are never an issue. (Downside: can't put them in the oven.)

o It's cheap.

o There's a 25-year warranty, but they don't ask for receipts. I sent a pan back that had a loose handle, and they sent me a new one. Took a little over a week round trip.

o My mother's still using the Revere Ware pans she got for her first wedding in the 1940s.

"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." --Dalai Lama

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Sfroth: Actually, you CAN put Revere Ware in the oven. I've had my set of Revere Ware for almost 12 years now and have popped it into the oven whenever necessary with no ill effects. It's just hard to remember to USE A POTHOLDER when getting it out! Those lovely cool handles don't stay cool in the oven. I guess old habits die hard.

I'm wondering why people buy pans that you have to use a potholder for all the time. It's an irritating extra thing to do, in my opinion. Maybe the pans/pots are otherwise so good, people are willing to put up with a bit of inconvenience?

Not I, said the fly.

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Scanpan recommends a quick steam bath for cleaning pots and pans.

A cup of water, a minute or two of high heat, let the steam bathe the interior of the covered pot for five minutes, and the interior is good as new. Everything rinses out.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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